Dallas Skyline wins, Carter loses on an exceptional day of football in Waco and beyond
I have to say that it seemed like a shaky idea, but the decision to travel to Waco to catch both Skyline and Carter today was a great one. My homie Coop and I loaded our 3 boys up in the van and hit I-35 South around noon.
We made it to Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium around 1:30 to watch Dallas Skyline's Raiders take on the Round Rock Dragons. We were a little late for the game because I was popped some popcorn on the stove before we left (my bad Coop). As we entered the stadium, Round Rock's Tomas Lober kicked a 23-yard field goal, and the Dragons took a 10-0 lead with 1:44 left in the first half.
After a highly entertaining halftime show by Skyline's band (Round Rock remained in the stands) we got our snacks out and were ready to roll. The teams took the field as a hard drizzle fell for what was to be a memorable second half.
At this time I have to take a moment to give major props to the Dallas Morning News HS Game Time Blog. By this time, the Dallas Carter/Pflugerville game was already underway at Waco ISD Stadium a couple of miles down the road and we wanted to keep up with the score. Fortunately I was able to hit Game Time from my phone, making this day's football experience like no other.
and the rest of the crew kept Coop and I up to speed on big games around the state involving local teams. Even though I was watching the same game as Damon, I was able to catch up on what I had missed in the first half. And Hinojosa's Carter coverage was invaluable, as were MacMahon's Southlake updates (more on the Dragons later).
Skyline's defense put on a clinic from the moment we arrived. Though Round Rock RB Marcus Jacks rushed for over 100 yards in the first half, he was held to under ten in the second. The game changed after Skyline forced Round Rock to punt from deep in their own end. The RR punter only managed a 17-yard effort giving Skyline the ball at the Dragons' 23.
It became the Troy Stoudermire show after that, as the Skyline QB ran the Raiders "look" offense to perfection. Stoudermire scored on a 1 yard run to cut the Round Rock lead to 10-7.
After stuffing the Round Rock offense throughout the third, the Raiders still trailed heading into the 4th. The DISD squad and their fans -Skyline's fans were great throughout the game- seemed to sense good fortune was ahead. They got the ball back near midfield after another bad Round Rock punt.
Stoudermire chipped away at the Dragon defense and then busted a 28-yard run for a touchdown with 2:24 to play. At the time, it seemed like they may have scored too fast. Round Rock was unable to muster much when they got the ball, turning it back over on downs with about a minute to play.
Here's where Skyline Coach Reginald Samples displayed a bit coaching genius that his counterpart Hal Wasson of Southlake lacked at Texas Stadium. Even though there was less than a minute left and Round Rock had just two timeouts left, Stoudermire continued to line up in the shotgun. "Why don't they just kneel it," Coop asked me as Skyline executed their regular formation. "Stoudermire probably hasn't lined up under center all year," I answered, "not even in practice." Skyline ran out the clock from the shotgun.
Here's how Tim MacMahon reported the end of the Southlake game.
The Southlake Carroll dynasty ended on a fumbled snap to the backup quarterback. Carroll was apparently trying to move the ball to the middle of the field to make the field goal easier for K Cade Foster.
QB Kyle Padron went under center for the first time all game — and probably all season — and couldn't get the snap. Abilene's P.J. Butler recovered.
After asking the guy selling funnel cakes how to get to Waco ISD Stadium, we loaded up the boys and headed to see what Carter was up too. Hinojosa had reported a 10-6 halftime score with Carter trailing, and we knew the 2nd half was underway. We payed full price to watch a quarter and a half of football, but it turned out we would get our money's worth before the evening was over.
The Panthers pushed their lead to 13-6 as we sat in our seats and it seemed like a good time to take the boys for a bio break. Coop drew the short straw and it made him miss what I think was the game's biggest play. Carter was set to receive the kickoff, a high pooch kick that came down to one of the up men. He let the ball hit the ground right at his feet without making an attempt to pick it up. Pflugerville recovered the kick and three plays later they were up 20-6.
The Wing-T offense run by Carter made the prospect of a comeback a longshot. To the credit of Coach Allen Wilson and his staff, the DISD squad fought, literally, to the very end.
The Cowboys still couldn't manage much offense, trying the "spread" offense that so many of their fans would like to see full time. Junior QB Jarvis Phillips wasn't able to connect with his receivers, turning the ball over to Pflugerville with under 5 minutes to go. That's when things just got stupid.
- Carter got the ball back with about 3 minutes left
- Jarvis passes and runs the Cowboys down the field for a touchdown.
- Coach Wilson decides to bypass the extra point and go for two after their kicker had badly missed one earlier (What's up with DISD squads and extra points?). The conversion failed and the Cowboys were still down 20-12.
- Carter recovers the ensuing onside kick only to have the officials call an illegal procedure penalty. They tried again but failed as Pflugerville recovered.
- The Panthers turn the ball back over to Carter on a fumble around midfield with a little over a minute to go.
- Jarvis bobs and weaves and weaves and bobs Carter down the field pushing the ball inside the 10 as the clock was ticking towards zero.
- Carter scores but are pushed back to the 12 on a holding call.
- The game comes down to :07 as Phillips drops back runs up the middle and after a pause the officials signal touchdown with no time left on the clock pulling Carter within two points.
- Phillips drops back on the two point conversion and tries the left side, but the Panther defense stops him literally inches from the goal line. The Cowboys lose a heartbreaker 20-18.
My son started crying when he got back in the van; he roots for all Cowboys and was saddened by Carter's loss. The boys were knocked out before we got onto the highway, and Coop and I spent the ride back second guessing Coach Wilson, extolling the greatness of Coach Samples, and debating the end of Southlake's recent domination of Texas High School Football. We were already talking about next week's matchups: Plano vs. Skyline, Arlington Bowie vs. Euless Trinity, it can't get here fast enough.
Thanks to HS Game Time, today felt like a high school football version of March Madness. From a vocal critic of the Dallas Morning News, Sports Day hit a homerun on this one (excuse the pun).